Elizabeth (Tilney) Howard
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Elizabeth (Tilney) Howard (bef. 1445 - 1497)

Elizabeth "Countess of Surrey" Howard formerly Tilney aka Tylney, Bourchier, Bourgchier
Born before in Ashwellthrope, Norfolk, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married after 11 Apr 1451 (to 14 Apr 1471) [location unknown]
Wife of — married 30 Apr 1472 (to 4 Apr 1497) [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died after age 52 in Abbot Readings Place, Baynards Castle, London, Englandmap
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Profile last modified | Created 3 Aug 2008
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Birth and Parents

Elizabeth was the daughter and heiress of Frederick Tilney, Esq., of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, Boston, Lincolnshire, etc., and Elizabeth, daughter of Laurence Cheney, Esq.[1] Wikipedia states that she was born at Ashwellthorpe Hall, Norfolk.[2]


  1. Elizabeth’s first husband (settlement date 11 April 1451) was Sir Humphrey Bourgchier, son of John Bourgchier, 1st Lord Berners, by Margery Berners[1][3] Her first husband died, fighting with the Yorkists, in the Battle of Barnet in 1471.[3]
  2. On 30 April 1472 she married Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, son of John Howard, K.G., 1st Duke of Norfolk, by Katherine Moleyns[1][4] The marriage was arranged by Edward IV.[2]


by Humphrey Bourgchier
  • John Bourgchier, K.B., 2nd Lord Berners, married Katherine Howard[1][3]
  • Anne Bourgchier, married Sir Thomas Fiennes, 8th Lord Dacre[1][3]
  • Margaret Bourgchier, married (1) John Sandys, (2) Sir Thomas Bryan, (3) David Zouche[1][3]
by Thomas Howard
  • Thomas Howard, K.G., 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Surrey[1][4]
  • Edward Howard, Knt.[1][4]
  • Edmund Howard, Knt., , father of Katherine Howard, wife of Henry VIII.[1][4]
  • John Howard, Knt.[1][4]
  • Henry Howard[1][4]
  • Charles Howard[1][4]
  • Henry Howard (again)[1][4]
  • Richard Howard[1][4]
  • Elizabeth Howard, married Thomas Boleyn, K.G., K.B., mother of Anne Boleyn wife of Henry VIII.[1][4]
  • Muriel Howard, married (1) John Grey, Viscount Lisle; (2) Thomas Knyvet, K.B.[1][4]


In May 1465 she carried the train of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV, at Elizabeth Woodville's coronation. She served as Elizabeth Woodville's lady in waiting and accompanied Elizabeth Woodville when she sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey after her husband's temporary fall from power. She was present at the birth of Edward V in Westminster Abbey in 1470.[2]

Elizabeth was co-heiress to the manors of Fisherwick and Shelfield in Walsall, Staffordshire through her descent from Roger Hillary, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (d.1356).[2]

In 1475 she inherited the manor Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk from her father.[2]

In 1483 she was one of the attendants on Anne Neville, wife of Richard III, at their joint coronation.[2]

Her second's husband's father died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and Thomas Howard was wounded in the battle. Both were fighting for Richard III, and Thomas was imprisoned, but his attainder did not extend to the confiscation of her own estates.[2] His estates and title were soon restored and in November 1487 she and her husband attended the coronation of Henry VII's wife, Elizabeth of York. She was made a lady of the queen's bedchamber, and in 1489 became joint godmother of Margaret Tudor, daughter of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII.[2]


Elizabeth (Tilney) Howard died on 4 April 1497[1][3][4][5] at Abbot Readings Place, Baynards Castle, London, England. She was buried in the nuns' choir of the convent of the Minoresses outside Aldgate.[2]

Her heir was her son John, lord Berners.[5]

In Poetry, Art and Fiction

In 1495 the poet John Skelton was a guest of Elizabeth and her husband at Sheriff Hutton Castle, Yorkshire. Elizabeth and her ladies placed an ornamental garland on his head, and he wrote a poem, The Garlande of Laurell, in which he complimented her, her daughters, and her ladies.[2]

Elizabeth is shown in a stained glass window at Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk, facing Elizabeth Talbot, a Duchess of Norfolk.

She features as Bess Bourchier in The Sun in Splendour, the final volume of a series of novels on the Plantagenets by Juliet Dymoke.[6]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham, (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2013), Vol I, pp485-486 BOURCHIER #13; Vol III, pp 336-337 HOWARD #14
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Wikipedia: Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2011, volume I pp.284-287 BOURCHIER 11
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2011, voume 2 pp.414-415 HOWARD 11
  5. 5.0 5.1 Maskelyne and H. C. Maxwell Lyte, 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, Entries 1-50', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Series 2, Volume 2, Henry VII (London, 1915), pp. 1-45. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol2/pp1-45 [accessed 14 October 2020].
  6. Dymoke, Juliet. The Sun in Splendour, pub. Dobson, 1980
  • Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. 2nd edition. Salt Lake City: the author, 2011, volume I pp.284-287 BOURCHIER and volume 2 pp.414-415 HOWARD. See also WikiTree's source page for Magna Carta Ancestry.
  • Cokayne, G E C, revised and enlarged by Doubleday, H A and Lord Howard de Walden. Complete Peerage, vol. 9, St Catherine Press 1936, pp.614-615
  • Wikipedia: Elizabeth Tilney, Countess of Surrey
  • Richardson, Douglas. Plantagenet Ancestry, 2nd edn. (2010), 3 vols, Volume 2, page 274, HOWARD 12.
  • Weis, Frederick Lewis, additions by Walter Lee Shippard Jr. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, 8th Edition, Genealogical Publishing Co. 2004, p.8 (line 4:34), p.32 (line 22:35) and p.132 (line 136:34)
  • Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999
  • "Our Kingdom Come," Eileen McKinnon-Suggs (suggs1[at]msn.com) Ancestry link
  • Faris, David. Plantagenet Ancestry of 17th Century Colonists, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1996, p. 47 "Butller"
  • Visitation of Norfolk Page 163: Howard

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This profile is the result of a merge some time ago. I am about to start work on tidying it up.
posted by Michael Cayley
Source: Douglas Richardson. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), volume V, page 73 STRATTON 13i.

Elizabeth Tilney, married (1st) Humphrey Bourgchier, Knt. (2nd) Thomas Howard, K.G., K.B., Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England.

Thank you!

Source: Douglas Richardson. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), volume II, page 161 CHEYNE 12.

Elizabeth Cokayne, married (1st) before 1412 Philip Le Boteler (or Butler), Knt., son of Philip le Boteler, Knt., by his wife, Elizabeth. He was born in 1388. They had two sons, Edward and Philip, Gent. Sir Philip Le Boteler died 5 (or 6) Nov. 1420. His widow, Elizabeth, married (2nd) 13 Dec 1421 Laurence Cheyne (or Cheney), Esq. of Fen Ditton, etc., 2nd son of William Cheyne, Knt., of Long Stanton and Fen Ditton, by Katherine, daughter of Laurence Pabenham, Knt. He was born about 1396. They had one son, John, Knt., and two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary (wife of John Allington).

Thank you!

Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013), Vol. V. page 73.

Thank you!

I believe that the birth place is misspelled. "Ashwellthrope" should be: Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk, England
posted by Terri (Berube) Bartos
While I disagree with placing titles in the Nickname box, Would it not be better to affix "Duchess of Norfolk" before "Countess of Surrey"
posted by John Akard III
I've heard of Edmund Tilney, Master of the Revels 1579–1609, connected to Shakespeare and Elizabethan threatre. Is he from the same family as these Tilney's?
posted by Bob Scrivens

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